Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary - Teen
Page Count: 320
Pub. Date: December 29, 2009
Reading Challenge: 2010 YA
My Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Amazon.com: 4.5 stars
Goodreads: 4.04 (Average)
Recommended For: Teenage girls, any Young Adult/Teen readers, Fans of The Beatles
Book Summary: (inside cover)
Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating, so she vows: No more. She's had one too many bad dates, and has been hurt by one too many boys.
It's a personal choice...and soon everybody wants to know about it. It seems that Penny's not the only girl who's tired of the way girls change themselves (most of the time for the worst) in order to get their guys...or the way their guys don't really care.
Girls are soon thronging to The Lonely Hearts Club, and Penny finds herself near legendary for her nondating ways - which is too bad, since the leader of The Lonely Hearts Club has found a boy she can't help but like.
Boys suck. (Okay, maybe not ALL the time). And our leading lady, Penny Lane, has had it with them. Especially the boys at school with their fake personas and childish behavior. As it turns out, Penny wasn't the only one. What started as a club of three, soon blossoms into a club consisting of forty-plus girls all feeling the same way. And that turns into a bit of a fiasco at McKinley High School with the opposite gender. With Penny's lifelong crush pleading for reconciliation after breaking her heart, the school's principle breathing down her neck demanding that the club shut down, and a new boy on the horizon, Penny begins to understand that you CAN get by with a little help from your friends.
And that was my favorite aspect of this novel. While the story begins with a broken heart and a feeling of hopelessness, the theme matures to a tale of independence and self-discovery. We see the rise of friendship through many differences and all odds. A group of girls coming together through hardships to stand by one another. And the great characters just kept coming. I loved the vast array of personalities that contributed to the story. Even the boys.
Another thing I enjoyed was the Beatles undertones, which played very nicely with the rest of the content. (The inclusion of The Beatles is actually one of the first reasons I decided to read this book.) Penny's parents are a riot in the fact that they would probably put most Beatles fans to shame. Naming all three of their daughters after Beatles songs (Lucy, Rita, & Penny Lane), swearing against Beatles cover-bands, taking yearly trips to Liverpool, AND being vegetarians to follow Paul's beliefs - they would make most children cringe at their obsession. But for Penny, the Beatles were her vice - the 4 boys who never let her down.
Overall consensus: The Lonely Hearts Club is a genuinely good read. Slightly predictable in some parts but I completely felt for Penny and enjoyed the camaraderie within the story. A book flowing with teenage issues, self-discovery, and love - it will have you smiling and cheering on Penny and The Lonely Hearts Club. Oh and one last thing, make sure you have a Beatles album lying around because I guarantee you'll want to listen to them when you're finished. :)